George Knapp: We’ve obtained a copy of a letter written in 2009 by Senator Harry Reid, sent to a high ranking official the Department of Defense. Senator Reid has told us we can go ahead and talk about this. Can you tell me why that letter is important? Or can you comment at all?
Luis Elizondo: So it depends what letter you’re referring to. I’m sure there were a lot of letters. The one if you’re referring to is an unclassified … presuming it’s an unclassified letter? Okay, that one? Yes, I have read that letter. I think that letter portrays a very compelling picture to the Department of Defense that the preliminary results of the AATIP program were warranting an increase in the protection of that information, i.e. that the results were coming in, and the preliminary results were such that we need to take extra precaution protecting this information and the results, because the data was very compelling. And it was very, very legitimate.
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Knapp: It sort of responds to some of the criticisms that have come toward TTSA, toward the UFO subject in general. It basically outlines that this program, AATIP, and the BAASS study, were successful. They zeroed in on a lot of useful information.
Elizondo: Absolutely it was successful. It was absolutely successful. That is undeniable to the point where that point was raised to senior levels of the Department of Defense in the US government. I think when we’re looking at this topic, it’s important that we … there’s a lot of things that TTSA is working on at any given time. Just because we’re not public about it doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything about it. As you recall, first of all, there were two videos that came out, the New York Times by the way got those independently, not from me. And everybody said, “Oh, you got two videos, that’s great.” And then nothing. “TTSA’s got nothing else.” Then all of a sudden another video gets released. People: “Well, okay, maybe they got something. Eh, no. They got nothing else. It’s, you know, been a couple months, three videos. That’s it.” People don’t understand, and I wish we could communicate to the audience, that we are working a lot of things back channel that are trying to help drive this conversation. And take it from the fringe, and that relegated to, to kind of weird, stigma-type conversations, and bring it not only to the mainstream where you can have this conversation over a dinner table with your family, and not feel strange or freaking people out. Because in the end, what may be considered, “supernatural” in the end may very well be just a natural part of our world. Right? So I would submit to you that probably the cell phone that I use to call my family my wife, 30 years ago was considered supernatural by many. And now it’s just natural. In fact, pretty much anything, by definition is supernatural until it becomes natural. Right? So I think hopefully we can help drive that conversation and remove some of the stigma. Let me put this out from a DoD perspective. Years ago, it was taboo to even mention gays in the military. Right? “Oh, we can’t do that … it’s too far of a bridge for us to cross. We’re not going to get there, it’s too politically charged.” And now here we are in modern day, and nobody has a conversation because it’s normal. It’s routine. There’s no stigma. Yes, you can have gays in the military. Who cares? We still are the best military force in the world, right? Nothing has changed. But it took, unfortunately, a very, very long time for the gay community to get rid of that stigma so we could have the conversation at the highest levels of government and realize our policies were flawed. Right? And I think this is very much the same way. Now someone’s going to come in, they’re going to say, “Well, Lue, you can’t compare what you’re doing to, you know, gays in the military.” Well, I’m not necessarily making a direct correlation. I’m just simply using it as an analogy, that there have been historically topics that had been taboo that had been proverbially radioactive in the Department of Defense, and all of the sudden now we realize looking back 20 years, “Well, that was silly. Why did we even care? So what? It’s part of reality.” And I think this is very much the same way. This is a conversation that hopefully in 10, 15 years, 20 years, we will look back as a nation and say, “Wow, we really hindered ourselves by making this topic taboo when we didn’t have to.”
Knapp: Well, TTSA has done a lot to move that ball down the field. To have the national conversation. There’s you on Tucker Carlson. And then another night is Chris Mellon on CNN, and all this kind of attention that I’m sure you never wanted to have.
Elizondo: No, I can assure you.
Knapp: It’s an amazing thing. I mean, it’s an amazing transformation. You have critics saying, “Oh gosh, you know, we want it all, we want it now. It can’t be fast enough.”
Knapp: But the progress that has been made in eight months is remarkable.
Elizondo: Yes, and a little scary. I wouldn’t have expected it to go this far this fast. I think we need to make sure that as … it’s a bit like riding a wave, right? You don’t want to get caught flat-footed and get behind the wave. So we need to make sure that every action this company takes is deliberate, and it’s planned. Even though it may not necessarily always be public, there are things as companies doing behind the scenes that I think I’m not sure any other company has been able to do yet. Now, with that said, this company, I can tell you, as a matter of fact, would not have been able to do what it is doing now if it wasn’t for some of the hard work that other companies were doing in the past and weren’t getting any of the credit for, like Bigelow Aerospace and some other companies who were busy working behind the scenes, busy making things happen, collecting data conducting the analysis. And yet, nobody had a clue what was going on. And I don’t think we — TTSA — would have been able to do that. I know we wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for the hard work of these men and women in these other organizations and even within the US government. So, I want to make sure it’s clear that the US government is not our enemy. US government is our friend. But sometimes when you have a really big friend that’s got a lot of complicated moving pieces inside. Sometimes you kind of need to hold their hand and help them walk through things, right?
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